Starting an Afterschool Program
Types of Afterschool Programs
The word “afterschool” is used to describe any program that runs outside the regular school day, including before school, after school, in the evenings, over the summer, during the weekends, or throughout school vacations or inservice days. In Vermont, afterschool programs fall into five general categories:
- Licensed School-age Care Afterschool Programs
The Agency of Human Services, Child Development Division, monitors and oversees the licensed school-age care (ages 5-12) programs in Vermont. For more information about licensing regulations in Vermont, go to the Department of Children and Families, Child Development Division website and review the information on becoming a child care provider.
- 21st Century Community Learning Center Programs
The Vermont Department of Education funds afterschool programs in schools and communities throughout the state through a competitive grant process, the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21C) Program. 21C grants are 3-5 five year grants with high expectations of program quality, academic connections, and student outcomes.
- School-based Extra-curricular Activities and Summer Schools
Schools often run athletic teams, homework support programs, and other special-interest clubs that meet after school gets out or in the evening hours. In the summer months, schools also often hold summer school programs to provide additional services to students and to offset summer learning loss.
- Recreational and Single Focus Programs
Town and city Parks and Recreation departments generally run sports leagues and other special programs for children and youth. Any business or organization that offers a single-focus program for children or youth in the out-of-school time hours (e.g., skiing, martial arts, sailing, drama, skateboarding, etc.) would fall within this category.
- Programs for Teens and Older Youth
Teen centers, youth centers, or other programs serving youth over the age of 12 outside the school day are also considered part of the afterschool field.
Resources for New Programs
- The National Clearinghouse on Families and Youth (NCFY) has a Guide to Starting a Youth Program. This guide gathers together a wealth of online information about how to start and manage a nonprofit organization or project that serves youth and their families. Rather than duplicate information that’s already out there, the guide attempts to put youth workers on the right track by guiding them to web sites written just for grassroots organizers and youth service professionals. The guide tackles generating ideas, launching the organization, finding funding, locating best practices, and evaluating outcomes and practices.
- Now in its third edition, Southwest Educational Development Library’s (SEDL) Resource Guide for Planning and Operating Afterschool Programs describes readily available and inexpensive resources that support afterschool programs on topics that include: management, communication, programming, community building and collaboration, and developing connections between K–12 educational and afterschool programs.
- The Afterschool Investments Project’s Starting an Afterschool Program: A Resource Guide is an appropriate resource for a school administrator, a faith-based organization, a family child care provider or any other type of afterschool program developer. This resource guide presents helpful publications and resources as well as a range of considerations as you begin to develop an afterschool program.
Funding for Programs in Vermont
Please visit our Grant Opportunities page for information about potential funding sources for afterschool programs in Vermont.